Carboniferous Sedimentary Basins of Northern Europe and the Nature of Emergence around the Margins of the Mesozoic Rifted Sedimentary Basin of the North Sea
The evidence of the infilling, shape, longevity and setting of the Carboniferous basins of northern Europe, long available in the public domain and now, with additions from the petroleum and coal-mining industries, is assembled. It suggests that their nature and origin are products of a sequentially and spatially nesting hierarchical mechanism of crustal change, within a framework that remains stationary within the bounds of the subcontinent. The observed dynamic morphology of subsidence in the coal-mining basins suggests an alternating sequence of downwardly narrowing linearly elongated, generally rectilineal zones, across which vertical movement takes place in the crust. The narrowing sequence of vertical movement is elliptically basinal or domal in the near surface, with subordinately horizontal tensional and compressional zones within it; rotational and counter-rotational respectively, below the wider, overlying, tensional and compressional zones; and finally, a vertical plane lying beneath the transition point between the two rotational zones. It is concluded that, to produce the observed pattern, the earliest cycles in the mechanism have cumulatively underprinted their successively more primary lines of disturbance, to produce the upward diminishing hierarchy of sizes of rectilineal block motions, responsible for the Carboniferous, preceding and succeeding basins.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A
- Pub Date:
- May 1982